Author Archives: ashleyjamisonyqr

Adventures in Quilting: I get by with a little help from my friends!

Today I am most thankful for my good friend Nicole of Country Rose Quilting.  I thought after my last post that when she arrived to show me the basics of setting up my quilt she would be blown away by the gains I made through watching YouTube videos on quilting and Singer sewing machines.  Well, it turns out quilting/sewing is a hands-on sport, you need to practice before you can play.  So this post highlights our day of sewing and my first quilting endeavor… with our two boys age 22 months (mine) and 4 years (Nicole’s) to assist…

I purchased a pre-cut pattern from a local sewing shop in town called Peachtree Quilt Shop.  The reason I went here is that I wanted a specific fabric for a baby quilt that I was not able to find at Country Rose.  However, this was great as I am now aware of another resource in town with knowledgeable staff and nifty precuts!

Pre-cut Baby Quilt Fabric

This turned out to be the best decision ever made as the time it would have taken us to cut fabric would have overtaken our evening and I needed all the sewing tutorial I could get!

Upon sitting down to sew, I immediately learned I had not a clue what I was doing.  The reason my lines weren’t straight was that I was using the machine incorrectly to start with.  I also had to have a crash course in loading a bobbin, threading my machine and adjusting the tension of the thread to ensure a beautiful stitch.  All accomplished, see my Vlog at the end of the Blog highlighting these.

It is difficult to sew a straight line when the feet are up! Now I know..
That’s better…

Next, we arranged the pattern for this soon to be quilt…

This was great until my little helper joined in!

So thank goodness I took the before photo of the pattern!  Once we had the rows back in order we were able to pin them in bunches, calibrate the machine and start our journey of sewing.

We sewed the first two rows together, ironing the seams of each square then the subsequent entire rows.

Now I am on my own to complete the front of the quilt (9 remaining rows) and Nicole will check back in later in the week!  So in the spirit of online learning, we took photos, a couple videos and I created a quick two minuteVlog.  I realize that my face is not in the Vlog but believe me, it was survival of the fittest this evening and I am not camera ready for my first ever vlog post so I will ensure that I am better prepared in the future!

Overall, I am learning a lot about online posting, uploading videos to YouTube from my phone media, and I am trying to figure out how to create a channel on YouTube to highlight my videos in one place.  I will be reading submissions to the Google + class page to navigate these issues.

Thanks for reading/watching!  (Sorry the Vlog is close to watching the Blair Witch project, I was all over the place and my camera skills could use some tuning!)

Open Education Improves Education

The past couple weeks of EC&I 831 we have been discussing open education as a means of providing quality education.  After reviewing many of the open education resources provided this week, I have determined that there is an absolute NEED for additional open education resources in post-secondary nursing programs.  The opportunities of utilizing open education resources in both nursing programs and the profession of nursing are endless.  A few are highlighted below…


Open Education Resources for Nursing Education-Khan Academy: 

As I discussed in my post from last week, much of my practice as an educator has stemmed from previous work of peers.  I engage in “time-consuming tinkering” to adapt my material and make it more original.

Another way that I can enhance my ability to educate students is through the use of open education resources.  Examples of this could include Khan Academy videos to clarify new content that is difficult to explain without using various approaches and visuals.  Khan Academy offers a significant list of subjects and lessons for topics in nursing that can be utilized.  Perhaps the most valuable aspect of this site is that it aligns with the NCLEX-RN style of presenting material and offers testing practice.  NCLEX is the Canadian Nursing Licensing exam and preparing students for this exam is a major focus of our program.


So, although there may never be an open education nursing education degree, open education has a legitimate place in programs as a means for improving student outcomes.

Open Education for Professional Development:

A major aspect of professional practice includes that of professional development.  After looking at the various resources presented in class, I realized that open education resources are a perfect and economical way to advance my practice as a nurse and educator.  An example of this is found on the site pictured below offering open textbooks.  As a nurse educator, I can access these free resources to obtain tools for improving my clinical teaching practice.


The last resource that I found (there are likely much more) that has great potential is titled “Open Learn Create”.  It offers free courses of varying lengths to enhance nursing practice in specialized areas.  Often a deterrent to progressing ones nursing practice is a lack of flexibility in courses and funding.


In a world of limited and decreasing resources for ongoing professional development, open education could be the fix.  So as I noted before, I have trouble seeing an entire nursing degree being offered in an open education venue due to the practical aspect of the profession.  However, professional development utilizing open online education courses are fantastic options for nurses looking to further their career and enhance their practice.

What do others think… Is open education an option for teachers to enhance student outcomes?  Do you use open education resources to partake in professional development?

Thanks for reading!

Culture of Sharing: How Else Can New Teachers Grow?

The concepts of this weeks’ EC&I 831 course covered the necessity of open education as well as the topic of sharing work.  The topic of creating a culture of sharing really resonated with me as an educator.  I still consider myself to be a novice educator, learning more about the practice of educating every day and through every encounter with student nurses.  Afterall, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, not a degree in education.

A Baby (Novice) Educator                  Credit:

The journey of pursuing my Master of Adult Education degree has absolutely enhanced my practice, but another large part of my growth has been learning from my peers.  Kirby Ferguson, the creator of the series “Everything is a Remix” is quoted as saying, “creation requires influence”.

As I started my career in nurse education, my practice was heavily influenced by the practice of my previous educators and my peers.  Ferguson goes on in his next segment of to discuss how “Nobody starts out original”.  This statement could not be more true.  As educators in nursing, I am not responsible for creating the material that I am responsible to provide to students, this has been studied and developed by scholars, medical professionals, and scientists.  Furthermore, the amount of time it would take to create completely original presentations in all courses that I cover would be astronomical had I not received guidance and ideas from peers.  The culture of sharing is how I survived my first years as an educator.

A final quote from Ferguson that I appreciated was that of educators then create their own content through the process of “time-consuming tinkering”.  Now that I have had an opportunity to facilitate my courses, creating presentations adapted from peers work, I am engaging in improving my materials, delivery, and processes through this time-consuming tinkering.  My goal is to always improve my practice as an educator and thus improve student outcomes.

There was a tweet that I referenced earlier today discussing “why students forget most of what is on our powerpoint slides”.  In the spirit of sharing, this presentation highlights strategies for improving presentations in order to engage students and avoid overwhelming them.  Key messages included:

  • “Eliminate textual elements from presentations and instead talk through points, sharing images or graphs with students”
  • “limiting yourself to one word per slide”
  • “Honor the “personalization principle,” which essentially says that engaging learners by delivering content in a conversational tone will increase learning. For example, Richard Mayer suggests using lots of “I’s” and “you’s” in your text, as students typically relate better to more informal language”.

I found this really helpful as I know I am guilty of creating wordy, cluttered slides at times that can overwhelm my students.  So, although I may use more than one word per slide, this is a great starting point.  Thanks for reading!



Ready, Set, Sew! Part 2

I stated in my first post of my learning project that I had initially thought I would bake bread but decided on sewing.  Now, I am realizing that sewing is not as simple as I had anticipated, maybe I should have stuck to the bread!


My progress to making a pillow has been halted by my need to rewind and practice the basics.  I began tonights’ adventure by watching a video online about threading my machine and following the steps, so far so good…

Next, I decided to attempt sewing a single line through some fabric squares I had purchased.  If it went well, I would proceed to use this to make my pillow.  

Two takeaways from this experience: I should probably have ironed the fabric prior to sewing as everytime I got to a crease, I stalled and thread bunched up…  Second, I need to learn to sew a straight line before I can attempt a greater project-see my first ever YouTube video proof:

I did reattempt this straight line with some success!

So, as of this point in the term, I have a goal to complete my pillow by the end of the week.  I have also enlisted the help of a friend to provide me with a brief tutorial on quilting so that I can start this portion of my project in the next couple weeks!  As my colleague, Shelby has found in her sewing journey, I am moving from a very beginner to an intermediate sewer through this project.

However, I think that the level of comfort I am gaining with accessing online materials, posting on my blog, creating my first YouTube video of my progress and applying the theory from EC&I 831 is beginning to shine through.  So even if my quilt remains unfinished at the end of November, I should have made significant gains in the world of online learning and presentation, which I can carry through to my role as an educator.  Last note, my favorite Chrome extension added this week: Grammarly!

Have a great night!

Ready, Set, Sew!

This is part one of a two part blog (to be continued tomorrow):

I have everything I need to start my first sewing project.  Prior to sewing a quilt (or attempting this), I bought the materials to sew a simple, square, throw pillow.  How hard can this be… four straight lines, flip right side out, and stuff it with cotton and close.


In preparation for this project that I plan to attempt tomorrow, I made a trip to the sewing isle at Walmart. Talk about overwhelming!  I left with what I think are going to be the essentials for my initial sewing project as well as the beginner supplies for a quilt. 

The pieces that I am most excited about include a starter kit for quilting: This tomato pin cushion that I purchased solely because I remember my grandma having one and she was a talented sewer: 

And lastly, this seam ripper as it will likely be my most used tool once I begin my projects…

So this marks the true beginning of my project.  I will be utilizing photos and videos to document my progress.  I hope to be able to utilize various means of presenting my project such as YouTube uploads linked to this blog and progress photos (good and bad).  I think that over the next few weeks the learning project will really take shape and I am looking forward to the adventure.  Stay tuned!

Is Social Media the Best Venue for Activism?

The rest of the title to this post should read…as a registered nurse.  Being an EC&I 831  student has opened my eyes to the world of social media as a means for educating, networking, and engaging in activism.  I have observed the act of social activism on social media platforms many times since registering for accounts on various applications and sites.  Each time I see a hashtag or photo circulating social media that represents awareness of an event, it evokes an emotion and prompts me to find out more about the issue.  However, up to this point, I have avoided actively engaging in these displays of activism.


A blog I read this week written by Katia Hildebrandt stated If we are online, as educators, and we remain silent about issues of social justice, if we tweet only about educational resource…we are sending a clear message: These issues are not important”.    This statement, along with a blog post by my colleague Amy highlighting the term “slactivism” has made me reflect on my use of online forums and social media simply sharing educational posts and photos of my family.

Upon reflection, I think that I could absolutely engage more readily in social media political activism.  I can, as Katia discussed, use my privilege to advocate for those with less privilege.  However, I have to be aware of my roles and responsibilities as a registered nurse and educator in the post secondary setting before I proceed with online social activism.  I googled the terms social activism and then professional misconduct in nursing and it prompted the following result: For those who aren’t familiar, the most recent story of a registered nurse found guilty of professional misconduct was directly related to a Facebook post advocating for her grandfather and the care he received.  So my argument is not that I will avoid engaging in social activism online, but that I need to bear in mind the risks associated with this avenue of activism.  Perhaps, posting to an online site where, even if deleted, the post can be forever reproduced may not be the best avenue for a professional registered nurse.  By using my title, registered nurse or my title as a nurse educator, I am representing my profession as well as my regulatory body (SRNA).  It is wise to then first ensure that the post will not put me at risk for professional misconduct.  If it will, is there a better avenue in which to pursue my support of a cause or advocacy of a group?Back to basics of teaching children how to post online, the below acronym, THINK, is important to consider.  


Sewing… Where Do I Start?

I might be getting ahead of myself, but my goal to learn to sew has morphed into a desire to sew a “simple” quilt.  Is there such a thing? I will find out…

Prior to beginning my journey of creating a quilt for my little one, I need to determine, where to start?  I have the sewing machine, and I am ready to plug it in and turn it on.  So I googled “steps for learning to sew” and The Spruce provided me with a basic to do list for getting going.  Then upon further search, I realized that prior to turning on the machine, I should build my ‘tool kit’.  Simply Modern Mom offered a great starter list for a sewing kit.  So, I could order these online in the spirit of online learning, but I will likely head to Walmart this week, since it is on the way to work, and I need to get going on this project!


My next step was to contact a friend of mine, Nicole, who actually owns an online quilt shop (lucky me!).  Country Rose Quilting is the name of the shop that I plan to support when purchasing my material and quilting specific supplies.  In keeping with social media and online learning, this will be a great way to #supportlocal.

So that is where I am at, I have about 49 hours of work and a long to-do list before completing this project, but I am getting excited!  Prior to my next post, I also plan to review the below video about threading my sewing machine along with finding some resources for how to sew a simple stitch (if that’s what it is called, I will find out) and piece together some scrap material as a practice run!  Lastly, I will have to learn how to create a YouTube video to document my project and progress.  The irony of ‘YouTubing’ a ‘How To Create a YouTube’ video makes me smile.  Wish me luck!


Establishing A Digital Identity: As a Professional, Educator and Parent

Prior to embarking in EC&I 831, my approach to establishing a digital identity was simply to avoid having one.  I had deleted my accounts on Snapchat and Facebook completely and converted my Twitter and Instagram to private accounts used only for reading news and sharing photos with close family and friends, respectively.


As discussed in my first “Breakout Blog”, the content of this course was met with much anxiety.  The thought of opening up myself to the online world was quite daunting.  This post discusses my new found approach to establishing a professional digital identity, how I plan to promote professional digital identities in my students and how I will help my children build their digital identities in the future.


Professionally: As a nurse and educator, it is important that I represent my profession in a positive light.  It is also important that I represent myself professionally, especially online, in a world where employers, colleagues and students can simply Google my name to find information.  As a start, I found a blog on LinkedIn discussing “Developing your Professional Digital Identity” with five simple strategies as a starting point:

  1. Google Yourself: I did this and found my Saskatchewan Polytechnic contact info page.  Other than this, it turns out there are many Ashley Jamison’s in this world with far greater online presence.
  2. Access your current social media and ‘professionalize it’: I have shifted my Twitter account, Google, and this Word Press blog to house professional content primarily, including my consistent cover photo.
  3. Make it easy for people to find you: I will need to establish this, as I said, there are many Ashley Jamison’s.
  4. Pick one or two tools…build content about yourself: I am going to focus on Twitter and this blog for the purposes of this course.  To begin establishing profiles on other social media sites would be beyond the time that I have right now.
  5. Build your network: I have begun to connect with other educators and colleagues through Twitter and I am finding more valuable content on this site each visit.

For my students: As I discussed in my first blog, I found a couple valuable resources for student nurses looking to establish a professional online presence.  The below video will be a great starting point when referring students to guidelines for social media use.  Further to this, eSchool News provided five questions for students to ask prior to posting online:

  1. What information am I sharing?
  2. How secure is it?
  3. Whom am I sharing it with?
  4. What am I leaving behind?
  5. What are my rights?

My children: Lastly, and the most anxiety inducing topic for me at this point, is creating a positive digital identity for my children.  I feel that it will be my responsibility to continue my education in technology use and continue growing my online capabilities so that I can effectively guide my children through this aspect of their lives.  Parent Co. highlighted strategies to use when teaching our children the skill of creating a positive digital identity:

  1. Ensuring they understand that profile photos are always public
  2. Create a family digital contract
  3. Get them to show you how they use the app
  4. Steer clear of providing false information
  5. Equip yourself to deal with cyberbullying
  6. Create a positive image
Credit: Laserfiche

By utilizing these tools, I hope that I can navigate this online world establishing a professional and positive identity for myself as well as my students and one day children. Thanks for reading!

Adult Learners: Are Students in Post Secondary Ready for the Title?

The theme of this weeks’ blog is to discuss our concerns of teaching in the digital (social  media) age.  I would have to say that my main concern is that I, as an educator, just want to engage my students and support their success.  I find that traditional lecture style education is lacking in ensuring that my student population is engaged and I am often leaving my classes wondering, “did that go OK? did they get anything out of that?”.  Coming from the post secondary program perspective, I was able to relate to Michael Wesch in his Tedx talk “From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-Able”.  He discussed, and showed, the disengaged post secondary students in his lectures.  Unfortunately, they looked somewhat similar to students I have had an opportunity to teach in the past.

My colleague, Coralee, summarized her thoughts on Michael’s discussion stating:

“What really struck me was Wesch’s ideas of engaging students and enriching the learning experience. Wesch argues that students must be given the opportunity to practice obtaining knowledge. He advocates that educators present real problems to students, where the answer is not necessarily known by the teacher; give the students the opportunity to collaborate with others (even on a global scale), share and collect information, and publish it for others to learn from; and do all of this with relevant and available media”.

This got me thinking that in order to engage my post secondary nursing students by presenting them with real problems, where they  must find the answers, perhaps the key is to start treating them like adult learners with the characteristics and capabilities for this type of learning.  The traditional classroom of lecture style is becoming less effective for the new generation.  So by teaching post secondary students as adult learners versus ‘learners who just finished secondary school’ through strategies that promote autonomy, independence and problem solving, perhaps we can better prepare our students for real life as professionals in their fields of study.

Strategies such as actively working through case studies in lecture time versus simply presenting the material and utilizing social media apps such a Kahoot for live quizzes could be utilized.  This would force students to first, prepare for lectures so they can actively participate, and second, teach them how to obtain knowledge versus it being delivered to them by the lecturer.  The ultimate goal is as Brown and Adler (2008) stated, “mastering a field of knowledge involves not only “learning about” the subject matter but also “learning to be” a full participant in the field” (p. 19).  By treating post secondary students as adult learners, no matter their age, we can transition them from “learning about” (e.g. nursing) to “learning to be” (e.g. nurses) through actively engaging them in their learning activities and subjects.

Finding Balance While Keeping Up With “The Times”

The theme of this weeks’ blog entry is to discuss whether or not we, as educators, should be utilizing technology and having students share their work publicly.  I decided to write this post from two perspectives.  First, as an educator in nursing education building off of my first blog entry of responsible social media use by nurses and nursing students.  Second, I decided to also comment on this from the perspective of myself, as a parent.  I will discuss what I think is most important in adopting social media practices, balance.

In regards to having students share their work publicly in a nursing degree education setting, this has great potential when focused on sharing theory based learning.  An example could be sharing a presentation online that covered the topic of hand hygiene for improving patient safety.  Where I think there are limits to the amount that a nursing program can utilize social media and online forums is when it comes to actual in hospital or community learning when a client is involved.  There are strict regulations such as the Health Information Protection Act that prevent these types of learning activities being shared in order to protect the privacy of the clients.  In a province as small as Saskatchewan, it doesn’t take long to determine who a health care provider is referring to in an online post, even when names are not mentioned.

Where I do think having students sharing their work online is beneficial is in the elementary and secondary school settings.  By starting these practices at a younger age, students entering post secondary education and the job market will be, hopefully, more responsible users of online forums and social media.  By learning responsible practice early, I would hope that they are more likely to better use these tools, knowing what is appropriate for posting and how to conduct themselves professionally online.  A colleague in my EC&I 831 class wrote to the topic of intergrating social media in more detail, including educating students of online safety and social media etiquette.

Photo Credit:

Lastly, from the perspective of a parent, I do have a reservation regarding the emphasis of online learning and social media.  It stems from the need for establishing a balance in the amount of time children, teens and adults spend online versus having person to person contact.  I myself have been guilty of ‘getting lost’ in my phone on social media and suddenly, much time has past and little has been accomplished.  I worry about missing precious time with my young family if we are all focused on our screens, even if this is for learning purposes.  So my reservation can be addressed by setting boundaries as to when screen time is able to occur.  I feel this should also be established in the school settings when introducing these learning activities.  There is great learning potential, and it is the way of the future to introduce online education tools, but balance is key.  Below is a Ted Talk that I had sent to me this summer and it made me take a step back and reflect on how much time I spend on my phone/iPad/computer.  Finding balance while keeping up with the new age of technology is the moral of my blog this week.